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Stop lighting those fires!
I have recently learnt in my science class how the respiratory system works. For this reason, I have written this letter to voice my concerns about uncontrolled fires and their effects on our health (mostly our respiratory system) and the environment.
Uncontrolled fires can be harmful to the environment in many ways such as: burning down of houses and buildings, causing damages to natural habitat and also causing destruction to agricultural and private lands.
Another effect of uncontrolled fires is air pollution. Air pollution affects humans and animals; their organs and systems as this air is breathed in. The polluted air travels into their bodies via the respiratory system.
If polluted air is inhaled in large amounts it can cause permanent damage to the lungs. Smoke inhalation from the wildfires can cause more harm to people who have pre-existing heart or lung diseases.
Inhaling these gases from the polluted air caused by wildfires can worsen the cases of those suffering from asthma, allergies and emphysema (a condition in which the air sacs of lungs are damaged and enlarged causing breathlessness).
Patients suffering from emphysema would be exposed to the following symptoms: sputum production (the act of coughing up and spitting out the substances produced in the respiratory tract), shortness of breath and even tightness in the chest area. Persons suffering from asthma would have similar symptoms to someone suffering from emphysema.
Studies have shown that the wildfire effects on the respiratory system can be delayed up to five weeks in some cases. Even healthy people can be affected by wildfire pollutants. Carcinogens (substances capable of causing cancer in living tissues), for example, mercury or carbon monoxide could lead to health hazards such as cancer, many years after exposure with the wildfire contaminants.
Now we know the severe damages that wildfire can cause to our health and even the environment, we should take precaution when lighting fires.
Proper disposal of waste should be carried out and the lighting of fires should be avoided at all times.
LAURYNN C NANDANLAL
STUDENT OF TABLELAND
SECONDARY SCHOOL, FORM 2
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